Defending champions Chennaiyin FC fell to its second defeat in as many matches after losing 1-3 against FC Goa at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium in Chennai on Saturday.
Edu Bedia broke the deadlock as early as the 12th minute before Ferran Corominas (53’) and Mourtada Fall (80’) sealed the victory for the Gaurs with two second-half goals. Eli Sabia scored the lone goal – which eventually turned out to be a consolation goal – for the two-time champions.
Continuing with their full-throttle attack from the last season, Goa made full use of the defensive lapses in the Chennaiyin heart of defence to take the lead in the 12th minute, when Bedia escaped behind the home side’s defence line after Lenny Rodrigues raced his way into the box following a perfectly worked-out routine throw. Lenny’s cut-back into the box was met by a powerful shot by Bedia as the visitors took a 1-0 lead.
Minutes earlier, Jackichand Singh had found Corominas with a darting cross, which missed the net by a few inches.
The goal, however, seemed to have woken Chennaiyin from their slumber and soon Gregory Nelson set up Anirudh Thapa on the edge of the penalty box, whose curling effort sailed outside the bar. Inigo Calderon then found Francis Fernandes unmarked two-minutes away from the first half. His shot was, however, parried away by young Gaurs goalkeeper Mohammad Nawaz.
Chennaiyin started well on the second half, but once again it was Goa, who doubled their lead against the run of play. Serinton Fernandes won the ball deep into the opposition half before passing it to an unmarked Coro, who tapped in for his second goal of the season in as many matches.
Down by two goals, the home team increased their urgency and nearly pulled one back when Calderon’s throw was flicked into the box by Jeje Lalpekhlua. But Raphael Augusto missed it from a point-blank range as another close chance went begging.
But their hopes of any comeback was soon extinguished by a third goal in the 80th minute. Ahmed Jahouh’s pass to Coro was swung into the box by the forward from which Senegalese forward Fall headed home.
Despite the inevitable defeat, Chennaiyin managed to open their goal-scoring account with Eli Sabia heading in Andrea Orlandi’s corner in the final minute of added time, to reduce the margin of defeat.
Image Source: ISL